April 26th 2024

Issue 5

Important Dates to Remember


 Term 2 
 Friday 3rd May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 2
 Tuesday 7th May - Thursday 9th May 2024Polyglot Theatre Year 3-6
 Friday 10th May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 3
 Monday 13th May - Friday 17th May 2024Education Week
 Wednesday 15th May 2024Curriculum Day (pupil free day)
 Friday 17th May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 4
 Wednesday 22nd May - Friday 24th May 2024Year 5/6 Campaspe Downs Camp
 Friday 24th May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 5
 Monday 27th May - Friday 31st May 2024Reconciliation Week
 Wednesday 29th May 2024Division Cross Country - Brimbank Park
 Friday 31st May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 6
 Friday 7th June 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 7
 Monday 10th June 2024King’s Birthday public holiday
 Wednesday 12th June 2024Public Reporting Meeting 3.45pm
 Friday 14th June 2024GRAND FINALS - Year 6 Interschool Sport
 Monday 17th June - Tuesday 18th June 2024Student-Led Conferences
 Friday 28th June 2024Last day of Term 2 – Early Finish 2:30pm

 Term 3 
 Monday 15th July 2024Students resume
 Monday 12th August - Friday 16th August 2024Science Week
 Monday August 12th - Friday 23rd August 2024P-4 Intensive swimming
 Friday 16th August 2024National Day of Action Against Bullying
 Monday 19th August - Friday 23rd August 2024Book Week
 Thursday 22nd August 2024District Athletics - Essendon Little Athletics Track
 Monday 9th September - Wednesday 11th September 2024Year 3/4 Anglesea Camp
 Tuesday 10th September 2024Division Athletics - Keilor Athletics Track
 Friday 20th September 2024Last day of Term 3 – Early Finish 2:30pm

 Term 4 
 Monday 7th October 2024Students resume
 Monday 4th November Pupil Free Day (Cup Eve)
 Tuesday 5th November 2024Melbourne Cup public holiday
 Tuesday 19th November 2024Foundation Transition Session 1
 Tuesday 26th November 2024 Foundation Transition Session 2
 Tuesday 3rd December 2024Foundation Transition Session 3
 Tuesday 10th December 2024Statewide Transition Day (Step-Up Day)
 Tuesday 17th December 2024Year 6 Graduation (TBC)
 Friday 20th December 2024Last day of Term 4 – Early Finish 1:30pm

Principal's Message

I am opening this week’s newsletter with an enormous and heartfelt thanks to our superstar PE teacher, Nadine Halpin, for her extraordinary work putting together yet another action-packed Whole School Athletics Day. We love you, Nadine! Thank you also to the many parent volunteers who helped out with the stations, preparation, set up and pack up, we really couldn’t do it without you and Nadine always talks to me about how much she appreciates your support. Thank you to our teaching and education support staff who were absolutely exhausted by the end of the day and last but not least to our courageous and talented young people who gave new things a try, pushed themselves, and encouraged their peers. The day is a favourite on the FPS calendar for so many reasons!
I am also grateful to all of you for supporting us with processing your payment and consent on time. I know we inundated you with compass posts and text messages and we appreciate your understanding and your quick response to those reminders.
It has been a strong start to the term and our Term 1 focus on strong transitions and routines has carried over to this term with students moving safely in and out of buildings and demonstrating our school wide positive behaviours across the day. We started our professional learning sequence with a session on the Child Safety Standards and associated policies. All of these policies are available on our website and we share them regularly via the newsletter. We all have an important role to play in monitoring children’s safety and wellbeing and you can contact a member of leadership or your child’s classroom teacher if you have any concerns about a child’s safety.

Over the break, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting CoAsIt in Carlton to meet our new Language Assistants, Claudia and Jessica. I joined Nancy from Brunswick South Primary School to introduce our assistants to the bilingual approach and what they could expect at our schools across the year. An enormous thank you to Ivonne, Matthew, Octavia and Oslo for welcoming Claudia into their home, and to Jacqui, Aaron, Clementine and Hugo for welcoming Jessica into their home. Grazie mille to Silvia, Sean, Oliver and Loris, who were so quick to help when I reached out to see if they could host Footscray High School’s language assistant, Floriana. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Pupil Free Days

At our recent School Council meeting, we approved the dates for two pupil free days; Wednesday, May 15 and Monday, November 4. TheirCare will be offering a full day program on these days.
On May 15, our staff will be focussing on student assessment and reporting as they undertake their first cycle of our new approach to reporting which is detailed further on in this newsletter. I know it can be annoying when schools have a mid week curriculum day and I apologise for any inconvenience. We have many part-time staff and have chosen this day to provide as much equity as possible to our staff.
On November 4, the day before the public holiday, we will have our common professional practice day. We have one of these days each year to support teaching staff in managing their workloads.
We have one remaining curriculum day and we will communicate this as soon as possible. We are yet to determine the focus of this day and we anticipate that it will be in Term 3 or 4.

School Council Update

School Council met on 27 March with a jam-packed agenda. The continuing council members made us newbies feel very welcome as we got down to business, including the important task of electing these outstanding people as office bearers for the year ahead:
President: Raylene Varone
Vice President: Emma Cashen
Treasurer: Jakin Ravalico
Secretary: Chris Wilson
Now that the new buildings are complete, an important task for School Council is to progress the playground upgrades to be funded from targeted fundraising activities from a few years ago. We heard student feedback and ideas for these upgrades and are following them up. While the pool, waterslide and horse stables might sadly be beyond our budget, many of the other student ideas were very achievable and would be great additions to our play spaces. Stay tuned for more updates on this in the coming months.
Other important items discussed and actioned were:
- Approving dates for upcoming curriculum day (15 May) and pupil free day (4 November)
- Approving fees for upcoming camps and sports day
- Discussing and nominating for 2024 sub-committees
- Initiating the planning for Year 6 graduation
- Engaging with the school community through upcoming public reporting meeting
And finally, we heard from Jen in her Principal’s report that outlined how the school is making progress on the annual implementation plan. There’s a lot happening and I’m feeling very lucky to have the chance to be more involved through School Council. If you’re keen to be more involved keep an eye out for opportunities through the social club, working bees, bake sales, garden club, sub-committees and more; or feel free to chat to any of us in the yard.
Next meeting is 8 May.

Amanda Wealands
Amanda Wealands PhotoHi, I'm Amanda Wealands, mum to Tom (Grade 5) and Sadie (Grade 2). I work in water resource and river management when I'm not doing the school or sporting pick up/drop offs. I've been a parent at Footscray Primary for almost 6 years and love our little school and strong local community. I'm looking forward to strengthening these connections while on school council and seeing FPS go from strength to strength.

Marta Vezzosi
Ciao a tutti! My name is Marta, I am a new member of the FPS SchoolMarta Vezzosi Photo Council and a new parent at FPS. My eldest daughter started Foundation this year and is already so taken by the school and our community (and so am I). I have two other daughters (aged 3 years, and 7 months), so we’ll have many years ahead of us in the FPS community. I’m looking forward to working closely with the amazing FPS team and parents to continue making FPS the best environment for our children to learn and play.
I am originally from Italy but have lived in Australia for over 20 years. I love to travel and have lived in Spain during my University years and in the Philippines where I worked for an NGO. Outside of raising my wonderful daughters, I spent over a decade working as a family lawyer assisting the most vulnerable, disadvantaged, and marginalised members in the community. I am now enjoying maternity leave and was excited to volunteer as a parent member and contribute in a more hands-on way to the FPS community.

Staffing Update

At the end of Term 1, we said farewell to Gill who will be directing her focus towards her personal health. You may see Gill around the place supporting with casual relief teaching at times.
We welcomed Renee Lafite as the new teacher of 5/6B - Renee may be familiar to many of you as she has worked as a relief teacher at FPS across all year levels and our students adore her. Say hello to Renee if you see her in the yard!
We also officially welcomed Dan Machuca as our new Year 5/6 Italian teacher. Dan is an enthusiastic and engaging language teacher and an FPS parent. Your children are familiar with Dan already as he worked with us casually across Term 1 and covered the Italian classes across the final weeks of term when our previous teacher Anna was unable to come to work. Anna has now retired from permanent teaching and we wish her all the best.
Our music teacher, Mastaneh, finished in her role with FPS this week. Mastaneh is in her first year of teaching and feels she would like the opportunity to work casually across a range of roles and different school settings to see what suits her best before returning to a fixed contract. We thank Mastaneh for her time and have commenced a recruitment process for a replacement teacher. Bryce will continue to teach music on Fridays. If you know any fabulous music teachers (Italian language a bonus), with VIT registration looking for work Monday - Wednesday, please send them our way!.
We continue to expand our team of Education Support Staff with Kathie joining us casually this week to support students with additional learning and behavioural needs. We are playing with a workforce plan that would enable us to recruit for a part time first aid assistant and a part time facilities manager to ease the heavy workload of the leaders and the administration team and we will let you know when that recruitment process commences.

New Italian Language Assistants

Our new Italian Language Assistants (sponsored by CoAsIt) have arrived and have started working in our Italian classrooms, supporting the teachers and students. Please make them feel welcome - Benvenuta Jessica! Benvenuta Claudia!

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica, I'm Italian, I’m 26 years old and I like to draw, read a good book, watch a good movie and listen to music. To be part of the Footscray Primary School makes me so happy! I studied foreign languages, and I am really proud to teach the language and the culture of my country.

Hello! My name is Claudia, I am Italian and I come from Genova. I graduated in Education Science and have been working as a teacher for four years. Here at Footscray Primary School I will be an Italian Language Assistant until December. I like travelling and meeting new people, I am very happy to be here in Australia and I’m sure I will learn many things.

New Language Assistants - Jessica and Claudia

Education Week

Week 5 ( Monday 13th May- Friday 17th May)
This year the theme of Education Week is ‘Spotlight on STEM’ and we’re going to use it to have our own Science Week. Officially Science Week is in Term 3, however this is around the same time as Book Week. During Education Week, as well as your children participating in their usual Science and Design class, Caitlin with the help of 5/6 leaders, will be running some fun STEM based activities during lunch and recess times. If you are someone (or know of someone) who works in a Science, Design, Engineering or Mathematical field, have a valid Working with Children’s Check and would like to volunteer to come and talk to students about your job please email Caitlin at caitlin.wood@education.vic.gov.au. Alternatively if you are a parent/carer who would like to help run a STEM activity at lunch or recess during this week please also contact Caitlin.

Student-Led Conferences and Semester Snapshots

Across Term 1 our teachers and students have been exploring the functions of Seesaw and posting student work samples and learning stories to share new learning and growth with families in real time. These Learning Stories will continue throughout the year.

In addition to these regular learning updates, we will be introducing Student-Led Conferences (SLC) this semester as an opportunity for students to further develop their voice and agency in the learning, assessment and reporting process.

This term our SLCs will take place in the afternoons of Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th June (Week 10). Each conference will take up to 20 minutes, with a maximum of three conferences taking place at the same time. Both the English and Italian teachers will be present and roving between conferences during this time.

Specialist teachers will also be available for 10 minute parent-student-teacher conferences that follow the same format as previous years.

There will be more information about SLCs later this term.

Based on extensive research involving FPS student, staff and parent focus groups, surveys and conversations, our reporting format has been reviewed and adjusted in response to your feedback. The new Semester Snapshots are similar to the previous reports, however the following changes have been made:

  • A detailed explanation of the rankings Effort and Behaviour
  • A change to the scale system for Effort and Behaviour. Previously the scale was judgement-based:
    Needs Attention, Acceptable, Good, Very Good, Excellent
    The new scale refers to the frequency that the student has demonstrated these expectations:
    Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Usually, Consistently
  • A brief statement beside each progression point, outlining whether the student is working ‘at expected level’, ‘below expected level’ or ‘above expected level’.
  • A shorter General Comment as the students’ sharing of Learning Stories via Seesaw will provide families with regular authentic evidence of learning throughout the semester
  • Shorter curriculum descriptors as this information is already provided in the year level newsletters

We look forward to sharing our new Semester Snapshots with you in the last week of this term.

Learning intervention at Footscray PS

We occasionally receive queries from families about whether their child might be eligible for the Tutor Learning Program (TLI) or our recently launched Literacy Intervention program. We have provided a short description of both intervention approaches and the subsequent eligibility criteria.

Tutor Learning Initiative
The Department of Education categorises TLI as a Tier 2 support for students requiring small group learning intervention for foundational literacy or maths skills. Students selected for support through TLI may have complex learning and other needs.
Eligible students are those who:
  • Received ‘Needs assistance’ in their previous year’s NAPLAN
  • Are working 12+ months below level in Reading, Writing or Numeracy, according to multiple data sets
At Footscray PS the TLI is a termly cycle which allows our tutor, Joslyn Csobonyei, to work with a different year level each term. This approach ensures the program is equitable across all levels of the school. Our funding allows us to provide this program two days per week.

Literacy Intervention
The Literacy Intervention program is a phonics based program designed for students in Years 1-6 who require an individualised literacy program. Our Education Support staff will be working with students to develop their phonological knowledge, drawing on a sequenced, evidence based program, Decodable Readers.

Students identified to receive this support are those who:
  • Are not yet reading, or are working 12+ months below level in Reading according to multiple data sets
  • Have specific learning needs identified through the phonics-based assessment screening, Letters and Sounds
  • Are funded through the Disability Inclusion program
Year 1- 4 students will receive 1:1 Literacy Intervention for 20 minutes, twice per week. While Year 3-6 students will be working in small literacy intervention groups, focusing on either phonological awareness through the Decodable Readers program, or developing specific comprehension skills. These small groups will take place over 2 x 50 minute sessions per week. The Literacy Intervention program will run for a semester.

Due to the individualised nature of the program and school resourcing, not all students identified and eligible will be able to participate. These students will be provided with access to the program through Tier 2 small group instruction with the support of the classroom teacher. They will also be offered the opportunity to participate in this program at home through an online account. Unfortunately students will not be able to engage if they are participating in the Tutor Learning Initiative.

All students involved in the Literacy Intervention program will also be offered the opportunity to participate in the Decodable Readers program at home through an online account funded by school. This information will be provided in the letter home to families.

We hope that this information has provided some clarity about the purpose of the initiatives, as well as some background as to which students are selected to participate.

If you have any queries about the TLI, please contact Kathy Winton on kathy.winton@education.vic.gov.au. If you have queries about the Literacy Intervention program please contact Jenny Campbell on jenny.campbell@education.vic.gov.au.

Ride 2 School

What a day! A huge thanks to all the parent volunteers who helped make FPS Ride2School such a success, particularly Jess Gehrig and Kim Hutchinson. We would also like to thank the Community Bike Hub for donating their time to run a bike repair workshop, and Minister Blandthorn for donating the wonderful breakfast that we all enjoyed. It was so fantastic to see so many kids riding, walking, scooting and skating their way to school!!

Save the Date

FPS Disco 2024

The Melbourne International Flower Show

Last term nine 3/4 students of Seed Squad went to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show. First, we sat down and enjoyed a fruit snack. Then we walked to the fountain and met two hosts of Gardening Australia. We saw a walking Osmocote bottle, who said hello. We learnt about bees and saw lots of scarecrows. We all got to plant a seedling that we got to keep. There were lots of display gardens to look at as well as small hanging gardens. We went inside the Exhibition Town Hall and saw some incredible flower displays. In the kids area we made some seed bombs and played a huge snakes and ladder game. After a fund day, we made our way home on the train. There were some really long escalators to go down.
By Bonnie and Pepi, 3/4

PolyGlot Theatre

We are very excited to welcome the Polyglot Theatre supported through the Satelite Foundation.
They will run a week-long program where the students will explore youth mental health through a fun and creative experience that each class will design. Each group will spend 2 hours in the Wish Street space creating and dreaming.

PolyGlot Theatre

School Community Pantry

This term in Community Pantry we are focussing on Lunch! Lunch and healthy snacks provide the nutrients and energy required to sustain our children’s concentration throughout the school day [i].

Healthy school lunch ideas include cut up fresh fruit and vegetables, alongside wholegrain bread and crackers. If you are including meat or dairy in your child’s lunchbox, be sure to pack an ice pack to keep it cool and fresh.

In addition to fresh food, pantry items can add variety and help to fill up a lunch box or can help to create beautiful home cooked meals at home. Please visit our Community Pantry near the office and take what you need, if you struggling to keep your pantry stocked at home.

If you are able to donate to our pantry this term, here are some pantry lunch item ideas. Remember that we accept shelf stable products only (nothing that goes in the fridge!)
√ Wholegrain or wholemeal crispbread or crackers
√ Plain rice cakes
√ Nutritious spreads (such as peanut butter)
√ Rice
√ Flour – all types
√ Muesli bars (low sugar, no chocolate!)

These items we have enough of and do not need donations of at this time, thank you:
× Baked beans
× Canned lentils
× Pre- made rice meals
× Packaged soup

How to donate:
Bring your food items to the office; you can pop them on the shelves of the Community Pantry yourself (located just outside the library) or hand them over to our lovely admin staff in the office.

Thank you!

[i] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/healthy-eating-school-lunches#bhc-content

FPS Community Pantry

Community Information

FPS Community Pantry
This term in Community Pantry we are focussing on Lunch! 
If you are able to donate to our pantry this term, here are some pantry lunch item ideas. Remember that we accept shelf stable products only (nothing that goes in the fridge!)
√ Wholegrain or wholemeal crispbread or crackers
√ Plain rice cakes
√ Nutritious spreads (such as peanut butter)
√ Rice
√ Flour – all types
√ Muesli bars (low sugar, no chocolate!)

Chess Australia - Term 2 Information
Chess Aust Term 2 2024 Flyer

Kelly Sports - Term 2 Information
Kelly Sports Term 2 2024

Maribyrnong City Council - sessions coming up
Early Years - Parenting Sessions coming up in May
Bilingual Story Time Flyer
Living Future Expo

Anglicare Victoria
Anglicare Foster Carer Flyer